Monday, April 30, 2012
I have two good things to share today. One is a raspberry white-chocolate bread pudding, and the second is a very special giveaway. Imagine my delighted surprise last week when I opened an email from Blog-2-Print, inquiring if I'd have any interest in sponsoring the giveaway of a $35 gift certificate! It will come as no surprise to you that I responded in the affirmative. Yes! Yes!
Are you familiar with Blog-2-Print? If you have a blog yourself (or perhaps you have a friend who does?), you owe it to yourself to get familiar. Blog-2-Print is a service that allows you to make a bound book from a range of your blog's posts, in paperback or hardcover, via their incredibly easy-to-use website. The entire assembly process, from the blogger's standpoint, takes just a few minutes and it literally could not be more user-friendly. Anyone can give the blog-to-book assembly process a free trial run by visiting B2P's website. It's extremely fun to see what your blog would look like as a book, and to flip through it virtually, page by page, with no commitment at all.
Okay, so let's say you decide to actually make a book and place your order. Then what? Well, before you know it your shiny new volume is delivered to you, safe and sound. Expect your heart to skip a beat as you slide it out of the package, inhale that classic new-book aroma, and reverently page through your very own creation. I can tell you this with first-hand certainty because a couple of years ago I gave Blog2Print a whirl myself, using their service to compile a sleek volume covering three months' worth of my own blog's entries. I was especially pleased with the bright color and clarity of the photos, the quality of the paper, and the strong, tight binding. According to Julie, my friendly contact person at Blog2Print, a $35 gift certificate will allow for the production of a paperback book of about 77 pages or a 48 page hardcover. (I'm looking forward to making a new book, too, since Blog2Print generously offered to provide me, as well as our winner, with a $35 gift certificate--woo hoo! Thank you so very much, B2P!)
To enter this giveaway . . .
All you have to do to enter this giveaway is leave a comment on this post telling me why you'd like to make your blog into an actual book. And, please leave a name of some sort in your comment, okay? (Don't just call yourself "anonymous," because I know you're not really anonymous anyway--you're most definitely someone worth knowing.) Entrants can be from any country--there are no geographic restrictions, so I've been told by Blog2Print. I will announce the winner on Friday, May 4th, and ask that person to contact me via email. I will then provide that lucky individual with instructions so they can retrieve their $35 gift certificate from B2P. So simple . . . yes? Okay, then, we're good to go.
About this recipe . . .
This is an original, non-adapted recipe. I made it using day old Italian bread from a little local bakery, but if you prefer to use a homemade loaf, here's the link to my own favorite Italian bread recipe from a past post; if you use it to make your own bread for the bread pudding, just be sure to leave out the herbs and garlic, and consider substituting melted butter for the olive oil.
I suggest you indulge in a warm serving of this bread pudding topped with a soft dollop of whipped cream. As my dad always used to say, after eating something especially satisfying that my mom had served him, this humble dessert "really hits the spot."
Raspberry White-Chocolate Bread Pudding
(For a printable version of this recipe, click here!)
Preheat oven to 350, and generously butter a small casserole dish (mine was about 9" x 9" and 2" deep; I recommend using a clear glass dish so you can easily tell if the bottom of the pudding is fully baked before removing it from the oven).
12 oz. frozen raspberries, or about two cups fresh
1/2 cup granulated sugar
In a sauce pan, stir together the raspberries, sugar, and water. Cook over a medium flame until the mixture just comes to a gentle boil; lower the heat, stirring periodically, and let it simmer until it thickens and has reduced by about one third. It should look like raspberry jam that's not terribly thick when it's ready. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
6 to 7 large slices of day-old Italian bread, cut into large bite-size chunks (I left the crust on. If you prefer not to use the crust, you'll need a couple of more slices and you may want to consider reducing the amount of milk in the recipe a bit.)
1 cup half & half
2/3 cup milk
3 large eggs
1 and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 pinch kosher salt
3/4 of grated/shredded white chocolate, or 1/2 cup of mini-white chocolate chips
In a large bowl, whisk together the half & half, milk, vanilla, eggs, sugar, and salt.
Spread half of the bread chunks in your buttered dish. Drizzle half of the milk mixture evenly over the bread, and then pour half of the raspberry sauce evenly over that. Sprinkle with half of the shredded white chocolate. Using the rest of the bread chunks, spread another layer on top. Drizzle with the remaining liquid, and pour the rest of the raspberry sauce over that. Sprinkle with the rest of the shredded white chocolate.
Cover the dish with plastic wrap and let it sit for about twenty minutes before baking; this will allow the bread to absorb some of the liquid. (If you want to delay baking your pudding, you can refrigerate it at this point and bake it within a few hours.)
Bake on the middle rack of your oven for about 35 to 40 minutes, until the top and bottom look lightly golden and no longer obviously wet. Check it at about 25 minutes; if the pudding seems to be browning on the top too quickly, cover it loosely with foil.
While the baked pudding is cooling on a rack, whip some cream to serve along with it. The pudding is best served warm, not steaming hot. Be sure to refrigerate any leftovers.
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